Lovettsville residents should expect a survey in the mail within the next month with questions relating to development option in the Town Square neighborhood.
The Planning Commission on Wednesday night voted unanimously to authorize the town staff’s distribution of a nine-page public opinion survey intended to gather resident feedback on concept plans.
“It’s come a long way,” said Planning Director Joshua Bateman. “We’re in a substantially different place than we were a couple months ago and that’s a good thing.”
The survey took town staff one month to create, originally presenting it to the planning commission in September and since modifying it for succinctness. It was drafted using concept plans developed by Arnett Muldrow & Associates, the town-hired consultant that is developing the Town Square Master Plan.
The survey has five questions regarding layouts of the Town Square Commercial Area and the Town Square Park.
Two new questions were added to determine whether residents would like to see drive-through businesses in town center and which types—pharmacies, banks or restaurants.
Although Commissioner George Mayor expressed concern that some residents might not want drive-through restaurants in town square, Bateman said survey-takers would express such concern in their responses. He also said the town’s zoning ordinance would have to be amended if drive-through restaurants were to be added to the plan, since they are currently not allowed anywhere in town.
The survey most notably contains options depicting three different arrangements of commercial buildings and professional offices. For each option, there are two separate layouts, one with and one without a drive-through business location.
Respondents may also include opposing preferences if they don’t like any of the layouts.
The fourth and fifth questions will be used to gather feedback on the layout and contents of the Town Square Park.
The finalized survey comes three months after town staff requested council get input from the planning commission on town square concept plans.
It will be mailed to in-town residents and posted on the town’s website within the next month. Respondents will have three to four weeks to respond.
“I look at this as very conceptual,” Bateman said. “I really feel like we’re in the right place.”
Residents may also voice their concerns and ask questions at a public input meeting when survey results are back. According to Bateman, this should be around mid-November.